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Author: Subject: how closely tuned are the sets?
Chris_Stephens
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[*] posted on 11-17-2014 at 01:06 PM
how closely tuned are the sets?


Any guess as to how much out of tune a 'perfectly' in tune string is with its partner in a set? They can't really be 100% tuned the exact same, however small the difference. Other factors such as the knot at the bridge and shape/placement of the fingers on the string will slightly alter the unison of the strings too but by how much? Im sure were talking decimal places here (in hz) but anyone venture a guess?
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 11-17-2014 at 01:24 PM


I would say 1 to 3 cents (100 cents is a half step).
4 cents is the beginning of audible differences under normal circumstances . . . less than that and it might be perceived as out of phase but not out of tune.




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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 11-17-2014 at 02:19 PM


This is interesting. Why would it be impossible for two open unfingered strings to be tuned completely the same? I understand that the average ear and its corresponding brain cannot tell the difference between a pitch and another that is one cent higher or lower. And the odds of them being a few cents apart are obviously higher since there are a number of variables in a pair. But that is not the same as true unison being unobtainable.
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[*] posted on 11-17-2014 at 05:01 PM


As I understand it, there is a bit more to it than just the pitch of the strings individually in that the two strings are coupled both acoustically by the air and mechanically by the bridge - the main effect being that the pitch of each string will be different when played together than when played separately. There is quite a lot of literature concerning this in the piano tuning world owing to the - well - generally difficult task of getting a concert grand to sound good across a wide range of keys and tessiture.

The net effect for oud I've found (esp. listening to Simon and Basam tune) is that there is just one exact spot where the two strings are in tune (and maybe then only over a typical range of strike velocity). What the pitch difference between the two strings (if it is very close) is at this point is difficult to even define much less measure as it is operating as a system of oscillators with "complicated" boundary conditions (esp. in the case of a finger pad).

Cheers

ps. a brief reference: https://www.speech.kth.se/music/5_lectures/weinreic/mistuned.html




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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 11-17-2014 at 05:32 PM


Thanks, freya. If I understand what you have said, it means that the two strings may be put in perfect tune and produce identical pitches when sounded in sequence but when struck together they behave as system which deviates in a complex way. But the link was to an article about a different situation. It is about what happens when two strings in physical proximity are tuned *not* exactly in unison and sounded together.
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[*] posted on 11-17-2014 at 05:43 PM


If I understand correctly, I would say " In particular, there exists a possibility for the two frequencies to "attract" and become locked together, so that slight tuning of either string does not affect the frequency of either but only the decay rates. This is what we meant by saying that a slight "mistuning" of the strings does not necessarily lead to the appearance of beats. "

This is similar (though not exactly the same) to the well-known effect (though I've never tested it) of two pendulum clocks that are timed slightly differently coming into exact synchronization when they placed close together.

Cheers




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[*] posted on 11-17-2014 at 06:10 PM


Quote: Originally posted by freya  
If I understand correctly, I would say " In particular, there exists a possibility for the two frequencies to "attract" and become locked together, so that slight tuning of either string does not affect the frequency of either but only the decay rates. This is what we meant by saying that a slight "mistuning" of the strings does not necessarily lead to the appearance of beats. "

This is similar (though not exactly the same) to the well-known effect (though I've never tested it) of two pendulum clocks that are timed slightly differently coming into exact synchronization when they placed close together.

Cheers


Zowie! Fabulous. got it. thanks.
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